I have a Sony TV with Google TV built-in and I love it, but the age has begun to show and the underlying operating system on it hasn’t been updated as far as I’ve noticed since I got it. But while Google TV may have been abandoned, it has been replaced by a sexier “Android TV” officially announced today at the Google I/O Developer Conference. Android TV boasts being a platform that will give you access to all your favorite streaming services and play nice with live TV, but beyond that it also has some game console-like features and really seems to have a level of polish and attention put into it that has been lacking in this space for a while. During the Keynote the current TV landscape was likened to the state of smartphones circa 2006, with a bunch of different platforms being developed in-house by the hardware manufacturers. Google hopes to do with Android TV what Android did originally with smartphones, which is to provide the underlying operating system and let manufacturers worry about how that fits with their hardware.
Android TV is not just something that was announced today on its own, but what followed was the announcement that Sony, Sharp, and Philips had some TVs running the new platform in the pipeline and that we could expect those next year. Sony is making a significant bet on Android TV, shipping all their 4k and smart TVs with the platform, while Sharp and Philips will be shipping the Android TV – but it was not specified that it would be their only platform. 2015 may seem like a long wait, and it kind of is for those among us who are impatient and really want to get their hands on a new TV with our favorite OS on it, but the wait will give both developers and manufacturers the time to really perfect the experience and hopefully bring us into the 21st century with a serious smart TV contender.